Q: 9 o’clock nasty is known for their unique take on songs? What makes “Team Player” special?
9 O’CLOCK NASTY: Every song is special. It’s like they already have a shape and a sound and you just need to find it. After all the bluster and the wall of noise of Darker Star, we really wanted to strip right down to basics. We wanted to go back to working mostly digitally, processing and synthesising sound rather than using big amplifiers and rooms. So, Team Player was recorded very quickly, we knew exactly what it had to have in it, and then very carefully cut back and back until it was as empty and naked as we could make it. Usually, we know very early on in the process if a song is going to be a winner, Team Player was the difficult one. We had to keep faith and keep cutting until the song was revealed.
Some elements have kind of become trademarks for us. We usually have a vein of black humour in a song. We always want to deliver a big chorus you can sing along to. Team Player is perhaps darker and more restrained than we’d normally do and that was a reason it’s so special to us. The next single “I’m Bent” is pure 9 o’clock Nasty from the first note to the last.
Q: What is the theme of “Team Player”?
NASTY: We work as a pack. We are united and work really closely. But we don’t think that much of what we would do would be recognised as being a “Team.” We are all very independent, you could say awkward. Team Player is about that disconnect. About situations, usually where one person wants to make people think the same and act the same. The kind of person who would drop that terrible phrase “There Is No I in Team.” So poking fun at the language of team culture and the fakery that surrounds it is one side.
We’ve also really got interested in the Scott expedition to the Antarctic. As children it was always fed to us as a heroic mission. Which was a lie. The idea of the great explorer defeated by the Norwegian upstart. The idea of noble sacrifice. But when you read about the stupidity at the heart of the whole thing, the arrogance of it, it is breath-taking. The idea of someone, a flawed leader, taking a group to their deaths on the ice and being celebrated after, really got under our skin
Q: How did you guys meet?
NASTY: Pete and Sydd were at school together. They were punks and gravitated into the same orbit. There were part of a band called Sister Crow that was brilliant in its time, and they each went off and played in several bands, sometimes together, sometimes apart. Ted was on the same music scene and we all crossed paths at gigs and festivals. Leicester has a very supportive music culture. Bands work together and we benefited greatly from that. Ted was on tour with his band in Eastern Europe and got sacked. The exact circumstances are a mystery because he won’t tell us, but he ended up sleeping on the sofa in the apartment of a Czech journalist, with his huge Ampeg amp, his bass and not much else. Ted was lucky that Pete and Sydd’s band played in Prague that week and he went to see them, and they took him back to the UK as their roadcrew. Probably the worse roadie in the universe. So, we became friends and Ted still has an amp in a 7th floor apartment in Prague.
Q: What was in the inspiration behind “Team Player”?
NASTY: Stories about Scott of the Antarctic and the truth of what really happened. Countless meetings at work where all the terminology of team building dribbles across the table. Meaningless expressions. Hollow sentiments.
Q: What’s next for 9 o’clock Nasty? Any tours or shows planned?
NASTY: I’m Bent is released at the end of July. It is a killer song. We are really happy with it. It’s dangerous saying “our best release” because every release is the best, but it is standout 9 o’clock Nasty at our finest. We have two collaborations with other artists out soon, Holy War with Golden Plates and Existential Dread with I Am The Unicorn Head. Both are a lot of fun, good strong songs with a fusion of our styles that make something unique.
We also do our first ever live gig in August. We’re playing in Brighton, UK, with the Qwarks. We’ve worked very hard to rehearse and fine-tune a show that is more than just us playing the songs and sweating a bit. It is a cabaret of despair. We can promise that nobody will ever forget it. The plan is to take that show on tour over the Autumn, but we haven’t got confirmed dates for that yet. The business of organising a tour that doesn’t lose a ton of money is complex.
Beyond that, more singles. We’re working on “Sleepy Policeman” at the moment which breaks new territory for us and is probably the strangest song we’ve made yet. There is an idea for a Christmas LP with some other New Indie artists slowly forming.
Busy times. We’re obsessive-compulsive people. There always has to be something coming through.
Q: Any last words for the fellow weirdos out there?
NASTY: We live in difficult times. Don’t settle for anything less than a fair, honest, kind world to live in. We need to spread compassion, tolerance and respect wherever we go and oppose any that would prevent that, Oppose by all means necessary. Now is not the time to let bad things happen without speaking out. Get Into Them.
Interviewed by Jaye Maverick
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